10 Tips for Choosing Your Reception Menu
November 5, 2009 by admin | comments

Planning your reception menu doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little bit of research and planning, you can make sure to have a menu that pleases everyone. Because everyone needs a little direction, here are the top 10 things to consider when planning your reception menu.

10. Kids Menus
Have something special for the kids – chicken nuggets, corn, Mac and cheese. And for a special touch, create a separate dining area with buffets at a child’s height. It’ll end up being about ½ the cost of an adult menu!

9. Matching Your Menu to the Time of Day
If you are having your event during a normal mealtime – lunch, brunch or dinner – your guests will expect a full meal. If you’re only providing hors d’oeuvres, note it in your invitation so your guests can grab a bite before the reception and you don’t run out of food.

8. Timelines Clearly
define your timeline and do your best to adhere to it. If you run too far behind, the food quality inevitably decreases. While we do plan for adjustments, food only holds up for so long.

7. Cultural or Religious Requirements & Allergies
Your guests may have certain dietary restrictions that must be considered when ordering your reception meal. Have your guests not on the RSVP card if they have allergies or if they need a vegetarian or Kosher meal.

6. Style of Food Service
The style of food service you choose will set the stage for the entire reception. A formal reception can still be fun if you create interactivity for the guests. Our stations are always a hit!

5. Beverages
We can provide everything from a premium full bar setup, to beer and wine, or a basic self-serve beverage station. You can even choose to bring the drinks, and we’ll provide the mixers and garnish.

4. Tie Your Food into the Theme
Brides are getting more and more creative. An outdoor summer wedding could be great for a BBQ. We also have a wide variety of ethnic menus for Indian, Latin, Italian weddings and more.

3. Menu Choices
Pleasing the greater group versus a few You might love sushi or Thai food, but your guests may not. When you are planning, think about the types of restaurants your friends and family go to. It’s okay to stretch their tastes a little, but try and do that with the hors d’oeuvres.

2. Using Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
Not only is this usually less expensive, you will also be getting the freshest for the time of year. And you’re helping out the local economy while you’re at it! Check with your caterer to see what may be available locally.

1. And finally … Have a budget!
Make sure before you start contacting vendors that you have a clearly defined budget (with a little wiggle room, of course). If you opt to not use a Wedding Planner, buy a bridal planning book and use the checklist. A lot. Prioritize those things that are most important to you. It may be the food, or the dress,
or the flowers, but it can’t be “everything.”

You can realistically have a budget-friendly wedding, but make sure to give your budget upfront and see what your planner can, or can’t, do. Take the time to plan, communicate clearly and frequently with your event planner and create your dream wedding.

Carol Hull, Director of Sales

One response to “10 Tips for Choosing Your Reception Menu”

  1. We are planning the catering we will be having at our wedding, and naturally, we want the food to be delicious and still fit our budget. It’s definitely important to consider the theme and style of the food as we look for a restaurant to cater. My fiance and I both love Italian food, and I feel this would fit our large, formal wedding well. I hadn’t thought of having a kids menu, but that’s a great idea. We’ll be sure to consider these other factors as well. Thanks for sharing!

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Puff 'n Stuff Catering is a full service wedding, corporate & holiday event caterer.